"KIck-Ass 2"
Lionsgate may regret passing on "Kick-Ass 2" starring Jim Carrey, left, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. (Universal Pictures /August 12, 2013)



An image from a CBS ad attacking Time Warner Cable
An image from a CBS ad attacking Time Warner Cable

Get out the rabbit ears. As the CBS-Time Warner Cable blackout continues in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, some subscribers are making the trip to Radio Shack and buying antennas. According to Advertising Age, the retailer has seen a double-digit increase in sales.


Donald Trump
Donald Trump is not happy about missing golf on CBS this past weekend. (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg August 13, 2013)

Donald Trump couldn't watch golf this weekend, and boy is he mad!
The real estate mogul took to Twitter to blast Time Warner Cable for not having reached an agreement to carry media properties owned by CBS including WCBS-TV New York, which was carrying PGA golf.
"Time Warner, I am going to be switching many of my buildings to another service—this is ridiculous!" Trump tweeted Monday. He also complained that Time Warner Cable wasn't giving "major discounts" to subscribers.
In a statement, Time Warner Cable said, "We're sorry Mr Trump is upset but we would hope that, as a businessman, he understands why we're focused on keeping our costs down so we can keep our customers' bills reasonable."
So far, Time Warner Cable and CBS have resisted calls from politicians and regulators to put the signals back on while they negotiate, so it seems unlikely that "The Donald" will have any sway.
Nonetheless it's good to know that it's not just the common folk who are being held hostage by the CBS-Time Warner Cable distribution fight of 2013.


After the coffee. Before finding a new mantra.



Lea Michele
Actress Lea Michele thanked fans for their support following the death of "Glee" co-star and boyfriend Cory Monteith, on stage at the Teen Choice Awards at the Gibson Amphitheater. It was her first public appearance since his death. (John Shearer / Invision/AP / August 11, 2013)

Teen Choice Awards take Twitter by storm.

Twitter came alive with comments about the 2013 Teen Choice Awards, where a tearful Lea Michele made her first appearance following the death of her "Glee" co-star and boyfriend Cory Monteith.
Michele, who won a Choice award as actress in a comedy series, took to the stage Sunday to thank fans for their outpouring of love and support. Monteith, 31, was found dead July 13 in hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia. An autopsy ruled the death resulted from an overdose of heroin and alcohol.
"For all of you out there who loved and admired Cory as much as I did, I promise that with your love we're gonna get through this together," Michele said in collecting the award, which she dedicated to Monteith. "He was very special to me and also to the world."
Fox's awards show also featured such Twitter-worthy moments as One Direction star Harry Styles spontaneously "twerking" -- a dance move popularized by singer Miley Cyrus-- at the urging of the show's hosts, Darren Criss and Lucy Hale. Within minutes, the term #HarryDroppedThatThunThunThun began trending on Twitter.
Overall, the Teen Choice Awards generated more than 4.4 million tweets, making it the most social of the TV programs for the week of Aug. 5-11, according to SocialGuide, a Nielsen unit that measures activity on the Twitter platform.

The Skinny: Thanks to the Time Warner Cable-CBS blackout, I'm now totally behind in "Under the Dome." Did they get out yet? Do they have cable in the dome? I'm in the dark here! Audience down for Dome, but nothing to do with the blackout. Tuesday's headlines include a new home for radio personality Eddie Sotelo and some new approaches to fighting piracy. Also, new cast members aren't the only thing new in "Kick-Ass 2."


Al Jazeera America names a president
Kate O’Brian, a 30-year veteran of ABC News and its senior vice president of news gathering, has been named president of Al Jazeera America. (Donna Svennevik / Associated PressMarch 24, 2008)

Daily Dose: Every day Al Jazeera America announces new hires for its channel that launches next Tuesday. But there are still some things it is staying quiet about. One is the fate of the live Web feed for Al Jazeera English. Most industry observers expect it go away here after Al Jazeera America launches. but a spokeswoman declines to comment. The network also won't say what time on Tuesday it will launch. Let's hope they at least told TV Guide.


Young masked hero Kick-Ass, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, left, and the blade weilding Hit Girl, Chloe Grace Moretz, return.
( Daniel Smith )
Young masked hero Kick-Ass, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, left, and the blade weilding Hit Girl, Chloe Grace Moretz, return.

New character. This weekend, "Kick-Ass 2," a sequel to the surprise 2009 dark and violent comedy hit, will open. While much is the same including Chloe Grace Moretz as the wisecracking Hit-Girl, there is one big change. No, not Jim Carrey joining the cast. We're talking about Lions Gate Entertainment, which handled domestic distribution for the original, opting not to be involved the second time around. Universal Pictures didn't have to be asked twice to step in and it looks like that will turn out to be a smart move. The Los Angeles Times on "Kick-Ass 2."


'Breaking Bad' duo
Actors Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston attends The Film Society of Lincoln Center and AMC Celebration of "Breaking Bad" final episodes at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theatre in New York City. (Neilson Barnard / Getty Images)

It looks like "Breaking Bad" is delivering the goods for AMC
Sunday night's episode of "Breaking Bad," the season premiere of the show's final run, drew 5.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen. This was the biggest debut in the show's history.
That's more than double the number that tuned in for last summer's Season 5  premiere, according to numbers from Nielsen. 
The show, which telecast from 9 to 10 p.m., brought 3.6 million viewers in the key adults 18-49 demographic.
This will be the sixth and final season of the critically lauded show, starring Bryan Cranston as a struggling chemistry teacher who rises to power in the illicit drug industry. 
Sunday's was the first of eight episodes in the final season. 
The premieres have become significantly bigger events over the years, preceded by large marketing campaigns.
The fifth season premiere jumped in viewership from Season 4's maiden episode by about 83%. 
The strong numbers for "Breaking Bad" helped boost numbers for the show following it, "Low Winter Sun," which averaged 2.5 million viewers. 


[image]Warner Bros./Associated Press
'The Conjuring' is one of the recent popular movies dogged by piracy.

Foiling the pirates. PirateEye, a tech start-up, puts little cameras above movie screens that can sense if recording devices are being used in the audience. This is just one of many new ideas about improving Hollywood's methods to fight piracy, which the industry says sucks billions out of Hollywood's bottom line. The Wall Street Journal on PirateEye and other potential solutions to stem piracy.


Cimarron Group
Cecilia Wu, a business administration student at USC, researches ways to promote entertainment using Chinese social media networks. Cimarron Group hosted USC students from China as part of a summer internship program. (Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times / June 22, 2012)

Hollywood marketing firm Cimarron Group to shut down.

Cimarron Group, one of Hollywood's leading brand strategy and marketing companies, is closing its doors after more than three decades in business.
"It is with much regret that I announce the closing of Cimarron Group," Bob Farina, chief executive of the Cimarron Group, said in a statement. "I want to thank the incredible executive team and staff that has served this agency with their creativity and dedication. Over the past 33 years, our clients have meant everything to us and we appreciate all of them beyond measure."
About 120 employees will lose their jobs. On Monday, many had already been laid off or took jobs at other rival agencies.
Cimarron did not cite the reasons for the announcement, but a source close to the company said the decision came about after efforts to secure a loan to meet its obligations fell through. Cimarron failed to meet its payroll obligations last week.
Insiders said the company has faced mounting financial difficulties in recent years after expanding overseas and seeing a falloff in business from studios, which have cut back the number of movies they release annually and slashed what they spend on marketing campaigns.
Founded more than three decades ago, the Hollywood-based company creates movie trailers and TV commercials as well as print and digital ad campaigns for major studio movies.
Cimarron, which has offices in Singapore, Italy and Beijing, had recently worked on Fox’s “The Heat,” “Epic,” “Taken 2,” and “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” as well as DreamWorks’ “The Croods,” which was also released by Fox; and Universal’s “Identity Thief.”
The company's clients include MGM Grand, Cirque du Soleil, the consumer products division of 20th Century Fox and Village Roadshow.
Warnings of the company's financial distress have been evident for months. In June, SAG-AFTRA accused Cimarron of reneging on payments to performers as well as contributions to pension and health plans. The guild temporarily ordered its members not to work with the company until it reached an agreement to resolve the dispute.
And in April, Cimarron discreetly closed its Beijing office after less than a year in operation in China, laying off six employees who said they were not paid any severance and were owed back wages. Cimarron disputed the claims and said it would retain a presence in China.
Company executives said the decision became necessary after its client MGM Grand pulled out of a planned casino project in Vietnam. They also told The Times that progress had been slower than anticipated in building up its film marketing business in China.


Digital Domain
Rich Flier, left, has been appointed president of the advertising and games division at Digital Domain; Terry Clotiaux was named president of its feature film production division. (Digital Domain)

Digital Domain announces new executive appointments.

Seeking to assuage concerns about management stability at Digital Domain, the new owners of the struggling visual effects company announced promotions of two veteran executives.
Following the recent resignation of the respected Ed Ulbrich as chief executive officer, the Venice-based studio, which now goes by the name Digital Domain 3.0, said Monday it has promoted Terry Clotiaux to president of its feature film production division and Rich Flier to president of its advertising and games division.
Both men will report to Digital Domain's new chief executive, Daniel Seah, a Chinese investor who stunned Hollywood's tight-knit visual effects community last month when his company took over the studio co-founded by director James Cameron in 1993.
Seah heads a publicly-traded Hong Kong company called Sun Innovation, which trades copper and plastics and owns various car parks but has no prior experience in the media sector.
Sun Innovation acquired a 70% stake in Digital Domain from China's Galloping Horse for $50 million. India-owned Reliance MediaWorks continues to own a 30% stake in the company. Reliance and Galloping Horse acquired Digital Domain in bankruptcy auction last year.
The management changes come as Digital Domain plans to shift a growing amount of work from its Los Angeles operation to a studio in Vancouver to take advantage of film subsidies offered in British Columbia. About 420 people work at the studios, 300 of them in California. To cut costs, Digital Domain also will move from its Venice headquarters to a Playa Vista facility by year's end.
“We're engaged at every level to improve efficiency, re-shape our internal show models and build greater transparency with our clients," Clotiaux said in a statement. "At the same time we are growing the expertise and capacity in our Vancouver studio. This, together with our new ownership, our recent great work for Warner Bros., our recently completed 'Enders Game' co-production, as well as our in-production features for Fox and Disney, and we're on a solid path moving forward."
Clotiaux, a veteran VFX executive credited on more than 35 feature films in a 25-year career, oversees all visual effects feature film production at Digital Domain’s California and Vancouver studios. He was executive producer of Digital Domain’s feature film division from 2007 to 2009 and rejoined the company as vice president of the division in March.
Flier oversees all advertising and video-game visual effects and production at Digital Domain.  A 20-year veteran brand strategist and marketer, Flier joined the company in 2011 as Executive Producer. He was instrumental in building the division’s client base and expertise in the creative development and production of video-game content forActivisionElectronic Arts, 2K Games, Microsoft and other top publishers, developers and ad agencies. He was elevated to vice president in 2012.
“It’s been fantastic taking Digital Domain’s legendary brand and creativity into the games space and building a new base of loyal clients,” Flier said. “I’m privileged to have the opportunity to bring a fresh approach to the broader platform of the advertising industry – to offer production companies, agencies and brands all of the quality and pedigree they expect from DD, the best talent in the business and a great client experience.

Squeeze play. Time is running out for Fox Sports 1 to wrap up deals with some of the nation's biggest pay-TV distributors before its launch this Saturday. Still holding out are Time Warner Cable and satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish, which combined reach over 40 million homes. Details from Sports Business Journal.

"Just five days before the launch of FS1, Fox Sports still has yet to cut deals with at least three of the four biggest distributors: DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable. The three distributors said they are still in discussions with Fox to carry the channel, which launches Saturday. Distributors that do not cut a deal for FS1 by Saturday will continue to carry Speed, though it will be a stripped down version of the motorsports channel. Fox Sports provided the Tribune listings service with the programming lineup for Speed for the first nine days after FS1's launch, and it features a mix of re-runs and paid programming. In the week after FS1 launches, Speed will open primetime at 8:00pm ET with shows like "Faster Than," "Car Science" and "Pumped." The 9:00pm hour has shows like "Drag Race High," "Stuntbusters" and "Wrecked." The 10:00pm hour has shows like "Pinks," "Speedmakers" and "Hard Parts." Primetime for Aug. 17, when FS1 launches, will feature re-airs of "Pumped," "Wrecked" and "Hard Parts." Fox Sports has little reason to make Speed a high-quality channel after Aug. 17, since it wants distributors to agree to take the more expensive FS1. Distributors pay around $0.23 per subscriber per month for Speed, according to figures from SNL Kagan. Fox is seeking $0.80 per subscriber per month for FS1 initially -- a rate that would increase to around $1.50 toward the end of the multiyear carriage deals it is seeking"





The force wasn't with them. Walt Disney Co. held its own version of Comic-Con this past weekend when it hosted D23, which is a promotional event for its upcoming movies. Unfortunately fans flocking to Anaheim hoping to get word on the next installment of "Star Wars," which will be made by J.J. Abrams, were sadly disappointed. Variety looks at whether Disney dropped the ball.


Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, left, and Lori Greiner, the ''queen of QVC'' balance out the boys on ABC's 'Shark Tank.'


These old sharks still have bite. ABC's "Shark Tank," a show in which entrepreneurs pitch their idea to a panel of potential investors (think of it as a business version of "The Gong Show"), continues to see its ratings grow as it prepares to enter its sixth season. This time around, the two female judges -- real estate queen Barbara Corcoran and QVC diva Lori Greiner -- will appear together in some episodes instead of rotating. USA Today on keeping "Shark Tank" moving forward.


'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'
Ray Park plays Snake Eyes, left, against Ninjas in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Paramount Pictures / February 27, 2013)

'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' is bestselling DVD and top rental.

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation," starring Dwayne JohnsonBruce Willis and Channing Tatum, is dominating in home entertainment. The big-budget action film from Paramount is the top-selling DVD and Blu-ray disc title, as well as the top rental. 
The Jackie Robinson biopic "42" was second-bestselling DVD in its third week in release, while the raunchy comedy "Identity Thief" held strong, taking the No. 2 spot in rentals in its ninth week. 
Here are the top titles for the week that ended Aug. 3 for sales and Aug. 4 for rentals, according to Rentrak. 

Top 10 DVD and Blu-ray sales
1. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (Paramount). Week 1
2. "42" (Warner Bros.). Week 3
3. "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox" (Warner Bros.). Week 1
4. "Despicable Me" (Universal). Week 138
5. "Teen Beach Movie" (Disney). Week 1
6. "Evil Dead" (Sony). Week 3
7. "Tyler Perry's Temptation" (Lionsgate). Week 4
8. "Oz the Great and Powerful" (Disney). Week 8
9. "Jack the Giant Slayer" (Warner Bros.). Week 7
10. "A Good Day to Die Hard" (Fox). Week 9

Top 10 DVD and Blu-ray rentals
1. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (Paramount). Week 1
2. "Identity Thief" (Universal). Week 9
3. "Jack The Giant Slayer" (New Line). Week 7
4. "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" (New Line). Week 6
5. "A Good Day To Die Hard" (Fox). Week 9
6. "The Call" (Sony). Week 6
7. "Dead Man Down" (Sony). Week 5
8. "Oz The Great And Powerful" (Disney). Week 8
9. "21 & Over" (Fox). Week 7
10. "Evil Dead" (Sony). Week 3


SiriusXM recruits Spanish-language radio star
Piolín Radio, set to launch this fall and starring Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo, will be part of SiriusXM’s growing suite of Spanish-language channels aimed at attracting Latino subscribers. Until three weeks ago, Sotelo hosted the nationally syndicated “Piolín por la Manana” radio program, which aired on Univision Radio's KSCA-FM (101.9) in Los Angeles and on about 50 stations across the country. Above, Sotelo in 2006. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM has signed a deal to create a show with Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo, the popular morning personality who recently left Univision



Follow me on Twitter before I run out of steam. @JBFlint.