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ABC sells out Oscars. 'How I Met Your Mother' spinoff in works.

October 31, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • A spinoff of "How I Met Your Mother" is in the works.
A spinoff of "How I Met Your Mother" is in the works. (Los Angeles Times/Gary…)

After the coffee. Before waiting for the Great Pumpkin. 

The Skinny: My Miley Cyrus costume didn't arrive in time so I guess I'll just have to stay home this Halloween and watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" unless one of my loyal readers has a good idea for me. Today's roundup includes an FBI sting on a California politician accused of taking contributions to push film tax credit legislation. Also, ABC has sold all the commercial inventory for the Oscars and Time Warner Cable took it on the chin during its fight with CBS.

Daily Dose: NBCUniversal is sparing no platform from promoting the Breeder's Cup, which airs on NBC this Saturday. Not only will "Today" plug the horse race on Friday's show, "Access Hollywood" is doing a segment on it and cable network E! will cover what passes as the race's red carpet. Even the Weather Channel will be involved. Just glad that Breeder's Cup plots haven't been weaved into "The Blacklist." Maybe that will happen next year.

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Hot water. The FBI is digging into California state Sen. Ronald Calderon's efforts to expand tax credits for the movie industry. Calderon's push to get tax breaks for productions of less than $1 million dollars has come under a cloud because of contributions to his campaign from a producer who would have benefited a change in the tax credits program. More on the story from the Los Angeles Times and Al Jazeera America, which details the FBI's sting operation to go after Calderon.

Ouch. The distribution fights with CBS and Journal Broadcast Group took a toll on Time Warner Cable, which said it lost 306,000 video subscribers in the third quarter, which was more than what Wall Street was anticipating. Time Warner Cable also lost 24,000 broadband subscribers and 128,000 voice subscribers. The company had profits of $532 million, down from $808 million a year earlier. More from Reuters.

So much for that. Over the last few years, Intel has been promising to launch a new service that would distribute cable programming via the Internet, which is known in the industry as going over the top. However, Intel wasn't able to get deals done with big programmers and is now looking to sell part or all of its OTT unit to Verizon, according to All Things Digital. Verizon is already in the pay-TV game. I don't want to say "toldja," but I saw this coming a mile away, I don't mean the Verizon deal, I mean that Intel wouldn't be able to strike deals with programmers for its service because the cost would be too high and programmers would be reluctant to embrace a newcomer to the business.

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You like me, you really like me. ABC has sold out the commercial inventory for March's Oscars at record rates. According to Variety, advertisers are shelling out close to $2 million for a 30-second spot in the broadcast, which is often described as "the Super Bowl for Women." The willingness to pay more would seem to indicate that Madison Avenue thinks ratings for next year's show -- hosted by Ellen DeGeneres -- will perform well.

How I met your spinoff. At some point, a network's schedule will consist entirely of spinoffs. You laugh, but it will happen. CBS is considering a "How I Met Your Mother" spinoff, reports Deadline Hollywood. This one won't feature any of the original cast members. It will just throw some new characters in an episode so it is actually a very lazy spinoff. Just be grateful the folks behind "Seinfeld" never made a Newman spinoff.

The kids aren't alright. The World Series is over (congrats to Boston) and while Fox can feel good about ratings, the median age for baseball continues to get older. "Baseball has morphed into sports' version of the opera—long productions filled with pomp, color and crazy facial hair that younger audiences just don't get," writes the Wall Street Journal in this piece about how to speed up the game in a way that may make baseball more appealing to kids.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on the Sundance Channel's new series "The Returned."

Follow me on Twitter and have a happy Halloween. @JBFlint.


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