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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Call of Duty Trial unseals key documents. Steve Jobs biopic. Hispanic TV agressivly goes after ad dollars. Networks in line against Dish's Ad-hopping.


Sacha Baron Cohen in "The Dictator"
Sacha Baron Cohen promoting his new movie, "The Dictator." (Loic Venance / AFP/Getty Images


After the coffee. Before the CBS upfront.

The Skinny: Another rainy day in New York. Let's see if all-powerful CBS CEO Leslie Moonves can make the sun come out in time for the network's presentation to advertisers this afternoon. Wednesday's headlines include analysis of ABC's prime-time schedule, a look at how Univision is trying to snag new ad dollars, John Malone's Liberty Media upping its stake in Live Nation and a review of "The Dictator."

Daily Dose: ABC late-night star Jimmy Kimmel again performed at the network's upfront presentation and although he got a lot of laughs, he may need some new researchers. As usual, he made jokes about CBS being the network for old people. "They really do have their finger on the pulse, of viewers who have almost no pulse," he cracked, adding, "CBS is going to stay in their lane -- they'll have their turn blinkers on the whole time, but they'll stay in their lane." Only problem is, CBS has a lot more younger viewers than ABC and has for the last few years.

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is no fan of Dish's Auto Hop feature

CBS' Leslie Moonves blasts Dish's Auto Hop ad-skipping feature

  CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves blasted satellite broadcaster Dish Network's new Auto Hop feature that allows consumers to more easily block commercials from recorded programming.

"They can’t just take our signal and change it and put on a black spot where our commercials were," Moonves said during a Wednesday morning news conference to unveil the network's new fall schedule.

Moonves joined executives from Comcast Corp.'s NBC and News Corp.'s Fox in criticizing the Dish feature, which lets customers block commercials from recorded shows that have aired on broadcast...For more from the LA times click on More...

ABC gets aggressive: Walt Disney Co.'s ABC announced its fall schedule to advertisers, and the network is definitely feeling confident. It is moving its Wednesday night drama "Revenge" to the Sunday night time slot previously held by "Desperate Housewives." Also on the go is the sitcom "The B in Apt. 23," which leaves its protected Wednesday slot behind the mega-hit "Modern Family" for Tuesday night, where it will go head-to-head with Fox's highly anticipated Mindy Kaling comedy "The Mindy Project." The network also announced several new dramas and comedies, including "Nashville," a country-music-themed drama starring Connie Britton (think "Smash" moves south), and "666 Park Avenue" about a mysterious apartment building (think "American Horror Story" moves to Manhattan. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and Vulture.

Show us the money. The English-language broadcast networks aren't the only ones wooing advertisers this week in New York. Spanish-language giant Univision Communications is touting its network as well and wasn't shy about noting that on many nights it actually does better in key demographics than NBC. A look at Univision's efforts to snag more advertising dollars away from NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox from the Los Angeles Times and Advertising Age.

Don't get conned in Cannes. While the television industry spends the week in New York boozing up advertisers and spinning tales of new hit shows that will get huge ratings in the fall, the movie folks are gearing up for the Cannes Film Festival. Deadline Hollywood takes a look at the movies likely to get the most attention from the big studios, while the Hollywood Reporter weighs in on what the European economy could mean for sales.

Land of Liberty. John Malone's Liberty Media, which is already looking to take control of satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM, has now upped its stake in the concert and ticketing behemoth Live Nation. Liberty has increased its investment in Live Nation to just over 25%, from 20%. Liberty also owns the pay cable TV channel Starz. Coverage from the New York Times.



A job writing Jobs. Having hit a home run writing a movie about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Aaron Sorkin will now take on Steve Jobs. The Oscar-winning Sorkin, lauded for "The Social Network," has been tapped to write Sony's movie version of Walter Isaacson's biography of the late software genius. Details from Variety.


Screenshot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Key documents unsealed in Activision Call of Duty trial

In summer 2009, Thomas Fenady was recruited for a secret mission called Project Icebreaker. Fenady, who maintains the computer systems for a major corporation, was instructed to hack into the email accounts of two employees and "dig up dirt" but "don't get caught doing it," even though the directive came from the highest levels of the company.

The narrative reads as if it came straight out of a spy novel or a movie script. But it is a court document for a case involving Activision Blizzard Inc. and its multibillion-dollar Call of Duty military shooter franchise. To continue reading in the LA times click on  More...


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on whether "The Dictator" rules. Patrick Goldstein on whether the success of "Think Like a Man" will put its director, Tim Story, on Hollywood's A-list.

Follow me on Twitter and you too might one day make it to Carnegie Hall. Twitter.com/JBFlint


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