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New Focus Features focus; AEG cleared in Michael Jackson's death

October 03, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • AEG was found not liable in the death of Michael Jackson.
AEG was found not liable in the death of Michael Jackson. (Assoicated Press/Joel…)

After the coffee. Before seeing if "Super Fun Night" did super good.

The Skinny: I think 10 p.m. Wednesday is available for me if anyone has any suggestions on what to watch. I'm throwing in the towel on "Nashville." Maybe I'll finally finish "Orange is the New Black." Thursday's headlines include a restructuring at Focus Features. Also, Comcast buys the Black Tower and AEG is cleared of any wrongdoing in Michael Jackson's death.

Daily Dose: It looks like the ABC drama "Lucky 7" about how winning the lottery changes the lives of seven people will have the dubious distinction of being the first show canceled this season. In its second airing on Tuesday, "Lucky 7" had less than 3 million viewers and under a 1 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic. Those numbers don't bode well for a long life.

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New focus. Universal Pictures is shaking up its specialty label Focus Features. Out as CEO is James Schamus, replaced by FilmDistrict founderĀ Peter Schlessel. The move is a sign that Universal is staying committed to Focus, which produced "Brokeback Mountain," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Atonement" and "The Kids are All Right." However, Universal also wants Focus to release movies with broader appeal. More on the makeover from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

Bet on black. Comcast is buying the high-rise known as the Black Tower that houses much of NBCUniversal's West Coast offices for $420 million. The building used to be owned by the entertainment giant but it was sold off many years ago. The move also means that if NBCUniversal wants, it can also move its cable networks group from the mid-Wilshire area to Universal City Plaza. Details on the deal from the Los Angeles Times.

Cleared. Entertainment giant AEG was cleared by a jury of having any role in the death of Michael Jackson. The pop singer's mother Katherine Jackson and his children had sued AEG claiming its hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray made it culpable in the star's 2009 death. While AEG signed off on Conrad, who is now in jail for his role in Jackson's drug-related death, the jury didn't find that the doctor was unfit to care for the singer. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.

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Once again I'm not on the list. Vanity Fair has released its annual "New Establishment" list of the most powerful people in media, technology and entertainment. If you need a chuckle, want to feel envious or are in search of an excuse to yell at your publicist over your ranking, give it a look.

Guess I won't launch a spinoff column called Morning Fixx. ExxonMobile is suing 21st Century Fox's new cable network FXX over the channel's logo which features interlocking Xs, reports Bloomberg. ExxonMobile is claiming copyright infringement and claims people will confuse the cable channel with the gas and oil giant. No, I'm not making this one up. Just to add fuel to the fire (zing!), next time FXX has a show that tanks in the ratings I'll make sure my headline asks if the network is "out of gas." Get it? Out of gas.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Amazon has ordered three more pilots for its Prime Instant service. Well-regarded Universal Pictures executive Rick Finkelstein has died after a battle with cancer.

Follow me on Twitter. It's the American thing to do.Ā @JBFlint.


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