After the coffee. Before getting ready for the cable show in D.C.
The Skinny: I'm flying to Washington tomorrow for the cable convention next week. I'm such a good soldier that I'll stay with family rather than a comfy hotel near the convention center. Anyway, I'm looking to keep a low profile today after this goes up. Headlines include the weekend box-office preview, Tyler Perry gives OWN a ratings boost and a review of "The Internship."
Daily Dose: Los Angeles residents who are "Mad Men" fans and Time Warner Cable subscribers may be bumming because of the latest news from the pay-TV distributor. Time Warner Cable alerted many of its customers Thursday that it would start carrying the West Coast feeds of the high-definition version of AMC. So what's the big deal? Well, currently subscribers here get the East Coast feed, which means being able to watch or record "Mad Men" (or other AMC shows) at 7 p.m. instead of waiting until 10 p.m. OK, this isn't the biggest crisis in the world, but it was a nice little perk.
Power surge for "The Purge." Universal's "The Purge" looks like it might sneak up on everyone and take first place at the box office this weekend. The movie, which stars Ethan Hawke, is expected to take in $25 million. That should easily beat 20th Century Fox's "The Internship," a comedy about two unemployed salesmen (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) who become interns at Google. According to industry projections, "The Internship" will be searching to get more than $15 million. "Fast & Furious 6" should still have enough gas in the tank in its third weekend to beat "The Internship." Box-office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Tell us how you really feel. Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt is no fan of David and Charles Koch, whose company, Koch Industries, has been mentioned as a suitor for the Los Angeles Times and other papers owned by Tribune Co. In a speech at UCLA this week, Hundt advocated removing FCC regulations that would keep Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. from buying the paper. While Hundt acknowledged he's no fan of News Corp. either, he said it would be preferable to the Koch brothers. Details on Hundt's remarks from the Los Angeles Times.
Thanks Tyler. Although critics have bashed Tyler Perry's new shows for Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications' OWN, the ratings have been huge for the cable network. "The Haves and the Have Nots" and "Love Thy Neighbor" both saw their audiences grow in their second airing, which is generally seen as a sign that a show is a legitimate hit. While neither show may fit what Winfrey was thinking when she launched OWN, the numbers are making the channel more competitive and will give it a chance to possibly increase ad revenue and distribution fees. More on OWN and Perry from the New York Post.
Wish I could fly like Superman. Next weekend Warner Bros.' "Man of Steel" opens and is already being projected to pull in $100 million in its first few days on the screen. Even the cynics I count on to tell me what's worth seeing say its good. Warner Bros. could use a big hit after "The Hangover III" disappointed. Given that "Man of Steel" cost about $400 million to make and market, it will need to be pretty big for the studio executives to keep their cool parking spaces. Variety on "Man of Steel."
Rude to "The Croods." The DreamWorks Animation film "The Croods" has been pulled from Chinese theaters even though its run was supposed to go for another two weeks. The Hollywood Reporter said the film was yanked by the Chinese government because it was a hit and China's own homegrown animation movies competing against it were not.
One man with a computer. The news that the government has given itself the power to monitor phone and Internet records is on the front page of every major paper today. Driving the coverage is Glenn Greenwald, a former lawyer turned blogger who writes for the Guardian and works mostly out of Brazil. Here's a feature on Greenwald from the New York Times.
Beat the summer rush and follow me on Twitter now. @JBFlint.