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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jobs and Disney, Popcorn, Howard Stern, and a Glenn Beck Channel from Fox?



Jobs keeps Disney job. Ailing Apple founder Steve Jobs was reelected to Disney's board of directors at the company's annual meeting Wednesday. There had been a push by some to have Jobs dropped because of questions over whether he'd be able to fulfill his obligations as a member of the board. Coverage of the gathering from the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg.
Imax pushes on in China. Imax, the 3-D theater company, said it was building 75 new outlets in China, according to the New York Times. China has 6,000 movie screens now, triple what it had three years ago. But while the number of screens is growing, China still has the same quota on the number of U.S. movies it officially allows to be distributed, the Los Angeles Times has reported, and a piracy problem that is taking money out of Hollywood's pockets.
Popping the bubble. It's do or die time for lots of TV shows. Every spring the networks fall in love with their pilots, and why not? Like any  new relationship, they're obsessed with the potential and have yet to see any flaws. Then they look at their current shows and decide whether they were really ever in love with them in the first place. Variety examines what shows are "on the bubble" at the networks.
Start packing now. The Cannes Film Festival is just a couple months away and the guessing game of which movies will make the cut is in full swing. IndieWire offers up its list of films that should be there and says that, regardless, this year's festival will be better than 2010. All I know is how bad can a trip to France to watch movies for a couple of weeks really be?
Stay away from our popcorn! Movie theater owners are balking at a Food and Drug Administration push to require them to disclose the amount of calories in popcorn. Theater owners fear that if people actually see how fattening that popcorn with extra  butter can be, customers won't buy any and that would take a huge bite out of their profits. That's of a little concern to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "If a movie theater is going to be serving people with 1,000-calorie tubs of popcorn, the least they could do is tell people about it," said Margo Wootan, the director of nutrition policy at the center. Trust me, we know. Details from the Los Angeles Times.
Stern sues Sirius. Just a few months after signing a new five-year deal with satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM, self-proclaimed king of all media Howard Stern and his agent Don Buchwald filed a suit against the company claiming his bonus deal isn't being honored. This is the first real rift ever between Stern and Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin, who has worked closely with Stern for almost 30 years. According to Bloomberg, Stern's suit says, “When Sirius needed Stern, it promised him a share in any success that the company achieved.... But now that Sirius has conquered its chief competitor and acquired more than 20 million subscribers, it has reneged on its commitment to Stern, unilaterally deciding that it has paid him enough.” In a nutshell, it appears Stern wants some credit for the merger between Sirius and XM. More on the suit from the Wall Street Journal.
History lesson. Next month, "The Kennedys" miniseries will premiere on ReelzChannel, a relatively unknown cable network, after it was dropped by History. The Hollywood Reporter gets producer Joel Surnow's version of how the eight-part program imploded at History.
Going his own way. Since it appears unlikely that Glenn Beck will cut a new deal with Fox News when his current one expires in December, speculation is starting as to what he'll do next. Does he have the clout and the coin to pull an Oprah and try to start his own cable channel? Or might he try to go the Internet route, where start-up costs would be lower? The New York Times looks at the various hands the rabble rouser may try to play. Give him the hour after Keith Olbermann on Current. They can call the programming block unfair and unbalanced.
A smashing exit. Chris Brown knows how to leave the building. The musician trashed his dressing room after an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" that was not to his liking because they asked him about his stormy relationship with singer Rihanna, which includes a restraining order.Vanity Fair offers up a noir take on the Tuesday morning incident.