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NBCU says better call Shell! Arsenio Hall has solid debut.

September 11, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Arsenio Hall got off to a good start in the ratings.
Arsenio Hall got off to a good start in the ratings. (CBS TV Distribution )

Before the coffee. After taking a moment to remember.

The Skinny: No snarky small talk this morning. Just painful memories of a beautiful blue sky filled with smoke. Wednesday's headlines include a profile of Jeff Shell, the new head of NBCUniversal's movie unit. Also, Arsenio Hall gets off to a good start and "The Killing" gets killed again.

Daily Dose: CBS and Time Warner Cable has made peace but tensions among broadcasters and pay-TV providers still linger. The National Assn. of Broadcasters has taken out an ad blasting Time Warner Cable and satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish Network, which it said is involved in 90% of blackouts. "Agreements that have worked for all the other guys don't fly with these big three TV providers, who put their political agendas before viewers to encourage government intervention in a free-market process." The ad is running in Capitol Hill publications.

Better call Shell. In tapping Jeff Shell to run its movie unit, NBCUniversal is going with a proven dealmaker who also seems to be genuinely liked by all who come across him. Shell, a Los Angeles native, grew up on the Westside, the son of a cardiologist and a therapist. An athlete who used to spend hours in the backyard perfecting his jump shot, Shell is expected to bring that same intensity to his movie gig. A look at Shell from the Los Angeles Times.

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Is there a movie in this? The surprise shakeup at Universal this week, with Ron Meyer taking a broader corporate role and Adam Fogelson being shown the door, still has Hollywood tongues wagging. The Hollywood Reporter goes behind the scenes for the dirt. I don't feel too bad for anyone in this, as the exit packages will still be worth more than I'll make in my entire life. But as a big shot TV exec once said to me when I compared my car to his, "you made your choices."

Woof! Arsenio Hall returned to late-night television Monday, and at least for day one, there was a lot of interest from viewers. Ratings from the nation's biggest cities for the adult 18-49 demographic were bigger than those for Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman. Of course, one day does not a hit make and it will be weeks if not longer before it can be determined whether Hall's return was welcome by viewers. More on the numbers from the New York Times.

Attention Target shoppers. Retail chain Target is the latest to get into the streaming game. Target is launching Target Ticket, with movies and TV shows from all the usual suspects. Although it is a crowded environment with Best Buy and Walmart having already planted flags, Variety quotes a Target executive noting there is a " significant portion of our guests who haven’t adopted digital entertainment yet.” Good to know that I'm no different than the typical Target shopper.

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Killed again. AMC has pulled the plug on its drama "The Killing," which recently wrapped its third season. This is the second time AMC has said "The Killing" is going away, so the show only has seven more lives. More on the cancellation from Deadline Hollywood.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on Arsenio Hall's return.

Follow me on Twitter and don't forget. @JBFlint.


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