FROM Matthew Belloni
Hollywood news banter With AT&T’s upcoming acquisition of Time Warner , will there be a culture clash between the two very different companies? Now that the court approved the AT&T-Time Warner merger, the race is on to buy Fox. Comcast has already topped Disney’s initial offer , and Disney will likely come back with an even higher counter.
The AT&T-Time Warner merger is a go, with more consolidation to follow Following the court's ruling in favor of AT&T, the race to get bigger, faster moved into high gear and leaves a lot of people in Hollywood stressed out about their futures.
Looking ahead to the AT&T-Time Warner merger decision A decision is expected on June 12 as to whether AT&T will be allowed to buy Time Warner. The Justice Department sued to blocked the merger, supposedly on the basis of antitrust laws, but many speculate more political motivations because Trump is no fan of CNN, which is owned by Time Warner.
Hollywood news banter In the wake of the ‘Roseanne’ cancellation following her racist tweets, the NY Times talks to writers about how stressful it was working on the show . Sam Bee called Ivanka Trump the c-word while talking about her father’s immigration tactic of separating parents and children. She has since apologized, though the backlash continues. Harvey Weinstein has been officially indicted and will likely have to agree to some kind of plea deal that may involve prison time. ‘Solo’ underperformed over the holiday weekend . Some cry ‘franchise fatigue,’ but why does no one seem to be sick of the Marvel movies? In this case, ‘Solo’ may have just been poorly executed. SPECIAL TV BANTER Lesley Goldberg, West Coast TV editor of The Hollywood Reporter, joins Kim Masters to discuss recent TV stories and the aftermath of this years upfronts. The networks’ desire for vertically integrated shows asserted itself stronger than ever at this year’s TV upfronts . Two shows-- ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and ‘Last Man Standing’--were brought back to life by the studios that own their respective production companies after being canceled on other networks. And even though ‘Roseanne’ is canceled, the ‘Roseanne effect’ of featuring multicams about middle-class families will continue this fall .
Sam Bee apologizes for having "crossed a line" on her show Now there are cries from the White House for TBS to cancel her show, following ABC's cancelation of 'Roseanne' earlier this week. But are the Roseanne and Samantha Bee situations really comparable?
Hollywood news banter Shari Redstone vs. Les Moonves: the battle rages on. CBS made the extraordinary move of asking a court for a restraining order to stop Redstone from interfering with a board of directors meeting. The judge denied that request, but pointed out Redstone does have an obligation to CBS shareholders to not do anything that would financially endanger the company. The CBS board voted to dilute Redstone’s stock , but it was more of a symbolic gesture because Redstone made a last-minute rules change that required a unanimous vote to do so.
Hollywood news banter Matt Belloni checks in from Cannes, where it’s a quieter, more muted festival than in years past. Part of that is because Netflix isn’t there, and there’s also a pall over the gathering because of the Harvey Weinstein of it all. Plus, no selfies allowed on the red carpet. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman resigned just hours after The New Yorker published allegations of physical abuse from four women. He was previously seen as a champion of the #MeToo movement and the man who would potentially take down Weinstein in court. But even with Schneiderman gone, the lawsuits against Weinstein will continue.
Hollywood news banter The Washington Post has released a new investigation on Charlie Rose , and found his inappropriate behavior was widespread, and that several managers at CBS were aware of allegations about his misconduct. Meanwhile at NBC, the network is conducting internal investigations of Tom Brokaw and Matt Lauer . However, if it’s anything like its Ryan Seacrest investigation, it may be underwhelming because in that case, NBC decided not to interview outside witnesses.
Hollywood news banter The end of John Lasseter’s six-month sabbatical is coming to and end, and it looks less and less likely that he’ll ever be able to return to Disney. At CinemaCon, theater chief John Fithian explains why theaters have mixed feelings about the subscription service MoviePass, which seems to be pulling back on its original offering in terms of the number of movies it allows someone to attend.
Cosby found guilty in the first major conviction of the #MeToo era Bill Cosby has been found guilty of all three counts of aggravated indecent assault. This verdict was handed down after a mistrial last summer. A lot has happened in the interim, including the fall of Harvey Weinstein and others.
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.
Industry insights and lessons learned from memorable guests We have interesting guests on The Business, and sometimes our conversations are too long to fit into one show. This week we give you stories that were too good to leave on the cutting room floor, including some sharp insights on making it in the industry from David Mandel, David Simon, Shawn Levy and Matt Reeves.