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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

E! wants a new look. Silicon Valley reality? Comic-Con on in San Diego. Dish and Direct TV both face the loss of cable networks.

Suzanne Kolb
E! President Suzanne Kolb is giving the channel a makeover. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / July 10, 2012)

Less trash, more class. E!, the cable network that gave us the Kardashians, wants to upgrade its image. No, it's not getting out of the Kardashian business, but it is going to try to broaden out by adding some more wholesome reality fare (is that an oxymoron?) as well as some scripted programming. "We found we needed to give people more of a reason to watch more of E!," said Suzanne Kolb, president of the channel. More on the makeover plans for E! from the Los Angeles Times.

The Skinny: I'm going to be numb all morning, so if I don't seem my usual happy self (I know, me happy?), that's why. Tuesday's headlines include E!'s plans to give itself a new image, a backlash against Bravo's new Silicon Valley reality show and some thoughts on Comic-Con, which gets going later this week.

Dish’s Hopper digital video recorder has an ad eraser. 
Daily Dose: Broadcast networks Fox, CBS and NBC won the first round of what will be a long fight with Dish Network over the satellite broadcaster's commercial-skipping feature called the AutoHop. A federal judge in New York sided with the networks, who wanted the case heard in California, and denied Dish's request for a declaratory ruling that the AutoHop does not violate copyright law.

Silicon Valley shenanigans. Bravo's plans to develop a reality show about the young and the geeky of Silicon Valley — produced by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg's sister Randi no less — is starting to make the tech set nervous. Many techies fear that the show, tentatively called "Silicon Valley," will trivialize the tech capital and the young people looking to develop the next big app. Reality TV trivializing things? That doesn't sound accurate at all. The New York Times looks at the backlash.

Comic-Con pros and cons. Later this week, Hollywood and fanboys and girls descend on San Diego for Comic-Com, the once-quirky celebration of all things comic book that has now turned into an entertainment industry event. Movie and TV producers flock to Comic-Con to promote their products. At the same time, though, the event has lost some of its soul. Deadline Hollywood offers a look at the event.

Coming soon, HuffPost TV. Next month, the Huffington Post will launch its online network HuffPost Live with 12 hours of live programming daily. The network said it won't have traditional commercials but instead will weave sponsorship into the programming itself. Cadillac has signed up as the "launch sponsor." The Wall Street Journal on HuffPost Live's strategy.

The king of bad talent. Howard Stern is doing a good job as a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent," but he's not getting much help from the show's other judges — Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel — or the folks competing on the show. USA Today looks at Stern's first season.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes said they've reached an agreement on a divorce. Julianna Margulies, star of "The Good Wife," is in a little bit of a legal drama with her former manager.

Follow me on Twitter. I make the mundane look fun.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog

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