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RIP James Gandolfini. Will 'World War Z' rise?

June 20, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano (HBO )

After the coffee. Before remembering how fleeting life can be.

The Skinny: Very sad about James Gandolfini. I only met him once, and it wasn't on duty. I used to hang out in a little bar in Chelsea that "Sopranos" costar Michael Imperioli owned, and Gandolfini came in. He was nice, and I seem to recall a brief conversation about music. Thursday's headlines include appreciations of Gandolfini and a look at the hard road "World War Z" traveled to get to the big screen. If you are interested in receiving an email alert when the Morning Fix is live, please send me a note.

Daily Dose: The lawyer behind a class-action suit against Time Warner Cable over how the distributor sells its local sports channels is no stranger to the industry. Maxwell Blecher of the Los Angeles law firm Blecher & Collins has been trying for years to get the pay-television industry's practice of bundling channels together tossed in court. However, he has not been too successful yet. Last year, a panel of judges for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco sided with a dozen media giants including News Corp., Time Warner, DirecTV and Comcast in a class-action suit Blecher filed that sought to end the practice of bundling.

Fade to black. James Gandolfini, who brought conflicted mobster Tony Soprano to life in the HBO series "The Sopranos" died suddenly while vacationing in Italy at the age of 51. Gandolfini, who won three Emmys for his portrayal of the Jersey mob boss, was also an established character and stage actor, and a producer as well. "Sopranos" creator David Chase said Gandolfini was "one of the greatest actors of this or any time." Appreciations of Gandolfini from the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, USA Today, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, BuzzFeed and Vulture.

PHOTOS: James Gandolfini | 1961-2013

Rise up! Though it's not quite "Waterworld," the zombie movie "World War Z" starring Brad Pitt has had its share of production drama. But now it is looking like the movie may manage to overcome all the behind-the-scenes drama and turn out to be a decent performer at the box office. The Los Angeles Times on the long journey of "World War Z."

Toll fee. As the Internet gets clogged with more and more content, some Web companies are paying broadband providers in return for better connections. This is opening up a debate about who should foot the bill for making sure traffic runs smoothly online. The Wall Street Journal looks at the complex issue and who's on board -- Google and Microsoft -- and who's not -- Netflix.

Making history. Thanks to "Duck Dynasty," "Ice Road Truckers," "Hatfields and McCoys" and other hits, A&E and History have become two of the hottest channels around. Nancy Dubuc, the executive behind much of that success, has also risen up the executive ranks and now runs A&E Networks, which is co-owned by Disney and Hearst Corp. Business Week weighs in with a profile of Dubuc.

VIDEO: Tony Soprano's best scenes

Forgotten credits. Earlier this year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences hired Vicangelo Bulluck as its managing director of outreach and strategic initiatives. But according to Deadline Hollywood, AMPAS left off some of Bulluck's resume, which includes producing soft-core pornography primarily for Playboy, in its bio of him. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Soon you may be able to buy a ticket to watch a movie in your home. FX has struck a deal for a new sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence.


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OBITUARY: James Gandolfini swaggered his way to fame

REACTION: Stars heartbroken by news of Gandolfini's death

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