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Netflix gets new look. Jimmy Kimmel and Disney's China problem.

November 13, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Jimmy Kimmel is in hot water with China.
Jimmy Kimmel is in hot water with China. (ABC )

After the coffee. Before corrupting the youth of America.

The Skinny: I'm going to talk journalism to students at Cal State Los Angeles later today. I'll try to keep it clean and not be too cynical. Today's roundup includes a new look for Netflix and Hulu's new strategy. Also, Jimmy Kimmel's joke about China may blow up in Disney's face and "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets its release date pushed.

Daily Dose: NBC wants to remake "Murder, She Wrote," even though its recent efforts to recapture past TV glory have fallen short. "Ironside" anyone? Here's my take on why NBC and the rest of the networks should steer clear of these tired reboots, which rarely work. I'm not the only one against it. "Murder, She Wrote" star Angela Lansbury is also irked. Well, maybe her lawyers can see if there isn't a way to squeeze a few bucks out of it if it goes forward.

PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV

Can Faneuil Hall pass for The Grove? Usually, Los Angeles gets to play other cities in movies and television shows. But in the new romantic comedy "Basic Math" starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal, Boston will pass for Los Angeles. Why? Because the producers got better tax breaks from Beantown and shot the majority of the movie there. So if you see Big Papi in the background, don't start thinking the Dodgers signed him to a contract. A look at Boston's role as Los Angeles from the Los Angeles Times

New look. Netflix has given its home screen a new look in the hopes that it will make it easier and provide more information for subscribers searching through the streaming service's vast library of TV shows. "We want discovery to be richer," Chris Jaffe, vice president of product innovation at Netflix told USA Today. "I knew one of my personal frustrations was I felt like today's Netflix experience didn't give me enough reasons for why I should watch this versus that." What I like about Netflix is the cute emails you get from customer relations. I had to change a credit card with them and the note they sent had a subject line of "Houston, We Have a Problem." 

Hulu wants to get closer to you. Now that Hulu is run by Mike Hopkins, a pay-TV distribution executive, it should come as no surprise that one of the first things he is trying to do is to get cable and satellite operators to package the online video service with its other offerings to subscribers. That would not only increase Hulu's reach (and potential subscriber revenue), it could lead Hulu to become a one-stop destination for video on demand and make it as easy to access as turning on your TV. But getting the distributors, who have their own agendas, to sign on is another story. Details on Hulu's latest thinking from the Wall Street Journal.

ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll

Kimmel's mess could be Disney's mess. A few weeks ago, a bit on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show featured a little boy suggesting the U.S. could solve some of its economic woes if it killed everyone in China. The ad, which was a spoof of AT&T's ads featuring comedian Beck Bennett interviewing little kids, naturally didn't play too well with the Chinese. While the show, which airs on Walt Disney's ABC network, has apologized, China's government wasn't sold on the sincerity. Given all the business Disney wants to do in China, what should have been a pebble in the road, could turn into a big pothole. Business Week on what's at stake here for Disney because of Kimmel's bit.

Power play. Concert giant Live Nation is near a deal to acquire Principle Management, whose clients include U2 and Madonna. A deal would put two giant acts in Live Nation's already strong management arsenal and also potentially create more revenue streams for the artists at time when CD sales are on the decline. More from the New York Times

Whipped. Universal is pushing the release date of "Fifty Shades of Grey" from August 2014 to February 2015. This isn't a big shock after Charlie Hunnam dropped out of the lead role. He was replaced by Jamie Dornan. More from the Hollywood Reporter.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on the debate over movie violence. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has introduced legislation that aims to give online video providers parity with satellite and cable operators.

Follow me on Twitter. It's an education. @JBFlint.


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