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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

'Hobbit' to become a trilogy, Peter Jackson at helm. 'Modern Family' has old fight. Triplets. Movie Shootout delays Gangster Squad. Netflix plumets on market.

'Modern Family'
The cast of "Modern Family" is playing hardball in contract negotiations. (ABC)

After the coffee. Before seeing if I can get Michael Buffer to tape my voice mail message.

The Skinny: Early this morning MGM made an SEC filing that lays the groundwork for taking the studio public. Keep visiting Company Town for updates. Other headlines include the cast of "Modern Family" playing hardball in contract negotiations, Warner Bros. wants "Hobbit" triplets and a look at all NBC has at stake with the upcoming Olympics.

Family matters. Several cast members of ABC's hit comedy "Modern Family" filed a suit against 20th Century Fox Television, the studio that makes the show for the network. The suit claims their contracts are illegal, but this is really just the latest move in their effort to get big pay raises. With the show a smash on ABC and poised to make hundreds of millions in reruns, the actors figure the time is right to boost their paychecks. Still, filing a suit is highly unusual and probably won't put the studio in the mood to play nice. Coverage from the Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times and USA Today

Daily Dose: When pay cable channel Epix announced a deal with Netflix in 2010, it was widely reported as lasting for five years. But in its earnings announcement Tuesday, Netflix said that its agreement to carry Epix in fact runs “through mid-2013.” What gives? Turns out the two sides are only committed to each other for three years and then have an option to renew for another two years.  Whether they do so might depend on the new partners Epix hooks up with after its exclusivity period with Netflix ends this fall.

Date change? Warner Bros. might push the premiere of its mob movie "Gangster Squad" from Sept. 7 to sometime in 2013, according to Variety. At issue is a particularly violent scene set in a movie theater that now seems insensitive in the wake of the Aurora shooting. The scene will likely be removed as well.

Can we get one done first? Warner Bros. and director Peter Jackson, which originally were planning on making two "Hobbit" movies, are likely going to try for a trilogy. With no more "Harry Potter" and Batman, getting new franchises is key for the studio. More from the Los Angeles Times.

New business cards. Media executive Peter Liguori has been bit by the private equity bug. A former top executive at Fox and Discovery Communications is going to the Carlyle Group as a consultant. Liguori is also on the board of Yahoo. Additional coverage from the Wall Street Journal.
Game, set, match. The Tennis Channel scored a big victory over Comcast. The Federal Communications Commission ruled that the cable giant has to put Tennis Channel in the same package of channels into which it puts its own sports channels NBC Sports Network and Golf Channel. Comcast argued that it already offered better distribution of Tennis Channel than DirecTV and Dish and this move will only raise bills. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Broacasting & Cable.
Inside the Los Angeles Times:  NBC has a lot riding on the Olympics, including whether it can convince viewers to stick with the network after the flame goes out.

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JASON MEJIA -COM101- said...

I love these Company Town articles. I don't find the suit against 20th Century Fox, surprising. I mean this is a hit show, and has been for a few years. I understand what the common person is thinking, "They already have tons of money, why are they being greedy?", but when you really think about it, these are jobs and these are people- Just like You and I, we want to keep our jobs and continue to make money- we look for the best consistent pay. These actors are doing the same. If you think about a show's lifespan- a GREAT show has gotten up to 10 seasons in the past, a good show is usually about 6 seasons. I believe Modern Family is now entering it's fourth season- this doesn't leave much time for these actors- there is no job security for them. That being said, I can't be upset that they are trying to get more money now (while they can). It's all business. Now, what the people from "Gangster Squad" did, was a better approach. You give out a contract with two optional years; That makes sense, in case a show doesn't go as well as expected. (i.e, "GCB")
THREE hobbit movies? Well, I think it's a great idea. These hobbit/Lord of the Ring nerds will go crazy, and yes, the timing is just right. Personally, I was not a huge fan of the 3 hour long Lord of the Ring's films. They are just too long!! Nonetheless, I think this is a great idea and great investment. However, how different is it going to be than the Lord of the Rings series? I'm excited for the Olympics- there is a lot on NBC's plate.

Anonymous said...

I read the hobbit book and im pretty sure it was just A book. I could see it being split up into two movies if they were both really well done, but i think making 3 movies is pushing it. Are they going to be one hour each?
Trolls end of first movie, the mountain man end of second, dragon end of third. long time to wait for one book.

Devin Murtaugh