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'Gravity' soars. Nielsen and Twitter team up. Kessler exits HBO.

October 07, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock, took off at the box office.
"Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock, took off at the box office. (Warner Bros. )

After the coffee. Before another trip to the chiropractor.

The Skinny: I saw "Don Jon" on Saturday. Good stuff although a little depressing. Hope to catch "Gravity" this week. Monday's headlines include the box office recap and Nielsen's plans to team up with Twitter to try to measure tweets about TV shows.

Daily Dose: In another sign that video is not a growth business for cable operators, Time Warner Cable said it is acquiring DukeNet, a fiber optic network company serving North and South Carolina, for $600 million. For Time Warner Cable the move is a further push into business services. It will also again raise questions about whether a Time Warner Cable-Charter Communications marriage will ever happen.

PHOTOS: Scenes from 'Gravity'

'Gravity' rocks. "Gravity," the lost in space thriller starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, took in $55.6 million in its opening weekend. That easily topped the industry projections, which, as usual, were way off. One reason for the bigger numbers was the take from people who wanted to see it in the more expensive 3-D format. About 80% of the box office came from the 3-D version of the film. "Runner Runner," the only other major movie opening this weekend, managed to take in just $7.6 million, less than the most jaded of projections. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Will my 'Nashville' tweets be counted? Nielsen, the company that provides TV ratings information, and the social media platform Twitter are teaming up to provide information about tweets regarding television. The theory is that all the tweets about "Breaking Bad" or "Scandal" can have some sort of promotional and monetary value as well as drive viewership. While there is anecdotal evidence that Twitter can increase TV viewing (I've tuned into sports events based on tweets), actual stats proving this are lacking and not all hit shows generate a ton of tweets. My question is will Nielsen and Twitter also factor in tweets bashing a show or is it just a numbers game. More on Twitter and Nielsen working together from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOS: Hollywood backlot moments

Big departure. Eric Kessler, the longtime HBO executive credited with coming up with the "It's not TV, it's HBO" campaign, is exiting his role as chief operating officer of the pay-TV network. Kessler was COO for less than a year after being co-president of HBO with Richard Plepler, who eventually became chief executive. Plepler said HBO would not fill Kessler's position. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Ready for prime time. Megyn Kelly, who has been the linchpin of the Fox News daytime lineup, moves to prime time starting Monday with a show at 9 p.m. For Fox News, the hope is that Kelly can bring in some younger viewers to its aging prime time audience without alienating supporters of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the rest of the network's evening stars. A look at Kelly and her assignment at Fox News from the Los Angeles Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" made its debut at the New York Film Festival. Warner Bros. general counsel John Rogovin went from Washington insider to Hollywood legal eagle.

Follow me on Twitter. I'm as hot as Peyton Manning. @JBFlint.



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