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CBS gets half of TV Guide Channel. Web production helps Los Angeles.

March 27, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Wall Street doesn't know what to make of "The Croods."
Wall Street doesn't know what to make of "The Croods." (DreamWorks Animation )

After the coffee. Before getting over jet lag.

The Skinny: On Tuesday, I said I missed Monday's "The Following." Last night, I caught up with it and was infuriated as usual. Don't any of these FBI agents wear bulletproof vests, and don't they know better than to stand in front of a door with a gunman on the other side? Today's headlines include CBS striking a deal for half of the TV Guide Network, and women and minorities making some gains in landing writing gigs on TV, but progress is slow.

Daily Dose: Last night, NBC tried to get some attention for its musical drama "Smash" by tweeting: "Will #Bombshell find its Marilyn? #Smash starts NOW!" Uh, wasn't that the entire plot of the first season? I stopped watching this season, so I'll hope this tweet was a mistake because if they're back to finding the right Marilyn, it's no wonder viewers have fled this show.

It's a fixer-upper. CBS is getting 50% of the TV Guide Network on the cheap. The cable network, which is in 80 million homes, has struggled to transition from a listings service to a general entertainment channel. CBS is buying the stake held by One Equity Partners, an investment arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Lions Gate Entertainment owns the other 50%. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and Lions Gate CEO Jon Feltheimer are longtime friends. More on the deal from the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times

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Still a long way to go. Women and minorities have made strides in landing writing gigs on TV shows but the field is still dominated by white men, a study from the Writer's Guild of America West said. Some good news is that writers over the age of 40 are working more than they were 10 years ago. Of course, there are a lot more options now. Details on the study from the Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times.

Keeping calm. Normally, the stock of DreamWorks Animation is like a roller coaster after the animation company releases a new movie. If the street thinks it's a hit, the stock jumps up. If it looks like a flop, it dives. But apparently no one in lower Manhattan has decided which category "The Croods" fits into. Variety on why Wall Street is quiet.

Hollywood takes care of its own. Former ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson, who left his job almost three years ago amid gossip too nasty to print here without a team of lawyers reviewing this first (just Google him), is wrapping up a production deal at Fox Broadcasting, according to Deadline Hollywood. The head of Fox Broadcasting, Kevin Reilly, is a college pal of McPherson and also the last house on the block, as both Sony and Fox's sister studio, 20th Century Fox Television, passed on getting into business with the ex-ABC executive.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: I'm offering NBC some free public relations advice for its "Today" problems. Movies and TV shows may be fleeing Los Angeles, but Web-based productions for YouTube, Hulu and Amazon, among others, are trying to pick up the slack.

Follow me on Twitter. NOW! @JBFlint.


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