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  • Paramount: Does Dropping Blu-ray Cost Them Michael Bay? Tuesday, 21 Aug 2007 | 12:06 PM ET
    Sony Blu-ray Disc

    The blogosphere is swirling with rumors about how Paramount's decision to ditch the Blu-ray format in favor of HD DVD (see my previous post), could cost the studio big time. It all started with the director Paramount's biggest hit, "Transformers." On a forum on his own blog--www.shootfortheedit.com--director Michael Bay posted the following:

  • Mortgage Crunch Blues: More Song Parodies To Sing By Tuesday, 21 Aug 2007 | 11:31 AM ET

    Here are more song parodies (see my previous post) to try to bring a smile to those of you upside down in your mortgage (or upside down in your Capital One and Countrywide stock): From a Colorado mortgage company grunt, the appropriately named Rocky M (talk about smiling through the pain), called 'Green Tree Beret" and sung to the "Green Beret" theme:

  • Blu-ray Vs. HD DVD:  Is Sony Now Losing The DVD War? Tuesday, 21 Aug 2007 | 11:09 AM ET
    Toshiba HD DVD

    Another battle in the very long war. For years Sony's Blu-ray has been battling with Microsoft and Toshiba-backed HD DVD. And everyone--the studios, the disc and player manufacturers, and consumers--is just dying for one format to emerge victorious and the other format to fall the way of the BetaMax. HD DVD just scored an unexpected win, after Blu-ray had taken the lead. DreamWorks Animation and Viacom's Paramount (including DreamWorks Studio) just committed to releasing their films...

  • Is Conan Going to be CNBC's Neighbor in LA? Thursday, 16 Aug 2007 | 4:49 PM ET

    Conan O'Brien was spotted by Jane Wells strolling around Universal City walking with an entourage yesterday. And now we know why! "Desperate Housewives" likely will be moved from its current stage here at Universal to accommodate the "Tonight Show," which would move from NBC's Burbank lot just for Conan.

  • Transformers Follow-Up Thursday, 16 Aug 2007 | 4:39 PM ET

    "Transformers" must really have been a huge hit --  isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Since the rights to Transformers are already sold, Hollywood is looking to the next best thing. New Regency is negotiating with the Mark Gordon Co. to bring to the big screen "Voltron: Defender of the Universe," a 1980s Japanese animated TV series.

  • Big Banks Back Out of Hollywood Thursday, 16 Aug 2007 | 10:05 AM ET

    Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are pulling out of their commitment to underwrite $1 billion of financing for MGM's slate financing deal, according to the Financial Times, which broke the news.We know that the credit crunch is being felt far and wide --  and now we see that it's being felt all the way in Hollywood at the most hallowed of filmmaking institutions. No one is raising any debt right now, and until the credit markets calm down, things will be quiet. Goldman Sachs and MGM were was raising about one billion dollars to finance a slate of MGM productions and co-productions, including the Hobbit, the fourth Terminator movie, and most likely the next James Bond film (co-produced with Sony).

  • Sicko's Ongoing Aftershocks Wednesday, 15 Aug 2007 | 4:53 PM ET
    Michael Moore

    You can always count on Nielsen/Net Ratings to let you know exactly how huge a pop culture issue actually is. Michael Moore's film, Sicko, released back on June 29 -- is still making waves online. Web traffic to blogs discussing Sicko reached 1.2 million unique visitors in May. By June traffic was down to 814,000, though people are still visiting related websites, especially as the presidential political debate on health care heats up.

  • A Celebrity-Studded Economic Outlook (And More Erin) Wednesday, 15 Aug 2007 | 2:42 PM ET

    Just putting Erin Burnett's picture on my blog boosted my traffic more than 100% yesterday. Or maybe it was the Fake Jane pic.

  • "Rush Hour 3" Debuts No. 1 at Box Office Sunday, 12 Aug 2007 | 3:52 PM ET

    People rushed to theaters to see the buddy cop comedy "Rush Hour 3," making the last of this summer's big budget Hollywood films the top movie at the weekend box office.

  • There's no question that Blockbuster's livelihood is under attack--the business of driving to a store to rent a DVD and driving back when you're done is threatened from video on demand, and digital downloads, especially since both technologies are getting better and faster. So, looking to avoid going the way of the Beta Max, Blockbuster just purchased online movie downloading company Movielink for under $20 million.

  • Paul Allen: Separating From DreamWorks SKG Tuesday, 7 Aug 2007 | 12:40 PM ET

    DreamWorks SKG couldn't have gotten off the ground more than a decade ago if it weren't for Paul Allen's $500 million investment. Perhaps his work is done--now he's selling $150 million of DreamWorks Animation stock back to the company, and doing a secondary offering to sell an additional 10 million shares to the public.

  • Hollywood

    A credit crunch affects any type of leveraged buyout--debt becomes more expensive and harder to obtain, requiring more equity, making returns lower. Considering how many leveraged deals Hollywood has made, that industry should be no exception. Wall Street players--private equity, hedge funds, investment banks--have put together more than $12 billion dollars of financing for the Hollywood studios' 'slates' of films.

  • The amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne is back, and this time he clobbered Homer Simpson. "The Bourne Ultimatum," the third movie in the espionage action series starring Matt Damon as a one-time CIA hit man searching for his past, grossed $70.2 million its opening weekend to rank as North America's top film at the box office, according to estimates.

  • Cwickies: Will They Be Sticky For Advertisers? Friday, 3 Aug 2007 | 8:27 AM ET

    I can't help but comment on Viacom's earnings. On Thursday, the media giant beat Wall Street estimates, thanks largely to the filmed entertainment division's profit quadrupling. But the studio (Paramount and DreamWorks) is a much smaller part of the company than the 'Media Networks' division, which includes MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, etc. I'd say Viacom's largest challenge moving forward is growing its ad revenue on these cable networks...

  • A Whole Lot of Croc Wednesday, 1 Aug 2007 | 11:22 AM ET
    Fake Jane

    A hospital in Pittsburgh is banning Crocs, the comfy rubbery shoes with holes in them. Hospital officials call them a hazard, fearing a nurse might drop a syringe on his or her foot and, bingo! One nurse tells the AP that's a croc. "I mean, I can get a needle stuck in my arm or my leg."

  • CBS And Viacom: What Will Sumner Redstone Do? Tuesday, 31 Jul 2007 | 12:49 PM ET

    CBS announced second-quarter earnings that disappointed on the top line, beat expectations on the bottom line, and landed flat with growth-hungry Wall Street. Revenue disappointed--down 3% to $3.37 billion on a loss of TV revenue from shutting down UPN and the timing of the NCAA basketball tournament.

  • Kelly Osbourne

    So Star Jones finally admits she had gastric bypass surgery. Really? People, it's like denying you had a facelift, collagen, or breast augmentation. WE KNOW. 177,000 people had gastric bypass last year, nearly double from 2003, making it one of the fastest growing plastic surgery procedures. So is PhotoShop. Check out Kelly Osbourne--I'll have what she's having.

  • Despite all the concern about the credit crunch, a big private equity deal seems to be moving forward. On Monday, John Malone, Chairman of Liberty Media tells the Financial Times he's considering enterting the auction for Richard Branson's Virgin Media. This could be a huge deal--the largest cable transaction outside the U.S.

  • DeLorean Car: Back To The Future Right Now? Monday, 30 Jul 2007 | 11:20 AM ET

    It sounds like a Hollywood script. Futuristic looking car generates the type of buzz needed to become a star: but it never shines as predicted, flames out amid scandal, and years later its devoted fans pine and plan for the icon's revival. It's only fitting I see this story in the Los Angeles Time this weekend. The star car in question is the DeLorean. The famed sports car that has achieved greater popularity since its limited production finished in 1982.

  • 'Simpsons' Movie Enjoys Huge Box Office Open Sunday, 29 Jul 2007 | 1:48 PM ET

    After paying their dues on the small screen for 18 years, "The Simpsons" have become movie superstars in just one day.

Entertainment

  • Amir Anvarzadeh, Director of Japan Equity Sales at BGC Securities, says analysts should pay more attention to Sony's software business and discusses the tech giant's restructuring progress.

  • Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO

    CEO Richard Plepler says HBO isn't hastening the demise of cable bundling by offering streaming content.

  • Legendary TV producer Norman Lear says he has learned a lot about who he was through the years of writing his new memoir, "Even This I Get to Experience." Lear also weighs in on the state of television, Netflix, and possible future endeavors.

Television