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TMCNet:  'Twilight' and 'Skyfall' fight for top spot. News Corp.'s new look.

[December 03, 2012]

'Twilight' and 'Skyfall' fight for top spot. News Corp.'s new look.

Dec 03, 2012 (Los Angeles Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- After the coffee. Before prepping my bid for the Batmobile.

The Skinny: I saw documentary "Central Park Five" over the weekend and strongly recommend it, especially to anyone who was living in New York City at the time of the Central Park rape. It's a great look at the failures of law enforcement, the justice system and the media. Monday's headlines include the weekend box-office recap, News Corp.'s new look and how sports rights are driving up cable bills.
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Daily Dose: NBC is bringing back Howard Stern as a judge on "America's Got Talent" next summer. Still not clear is who Stern will be sitting next to, as Sharon Osbourne quit the show earlier this fall. "America's Got Talent" continues to produce solid numbers for NBC.

Still biting. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" kept its top spot at the box office this past weekend with a take of $17.4 million. Coming in a close second was "Skyfall," which made $17 million. The new releases were all disappointments, especially "Killing Them Softly" starring Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini. "Killing Them Softly" not only made a pathetic $7 million, it also received an "F" from those who did see it, according to Cinema Score. Ouch. Weekend box-office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Walk-off home run. The Los Angeles Dodgers are on the verge of a huge TV-rights deal with Fox Sports. But it is unlikely that fans will be doing a high-five when they get their cable bills. Sports is driving up the cost of pay-TV subscriptions and some consumers and even satellite and cable distributors are crying "Enough!" A look at the rising cost of sports programming from the Los Angeles Times.

New look. Rupert Murdoch detailed his plans to split the media giant News Corp. into two separate companies. The publishing operations will stay in News Corp. while the entertainment assets will be part of the newly minted Fox Group. As had been expected, Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson will be chief executive of the new News Corp. Murdoch will be chairman of both companies. Details from the News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal.

It's the shows, stupid. There is a lot of talk about why ratings are down so much for the broadcast networks this season. Many cite the increased use of digital video recorders changing viewing patterns. While that is certainly a factor, another reason may be that most of the new shows are failing to strike a chord with viewers. The New York Times on the slow start to the fall season and what the suits are thinking.

Seller's market. Look for consolidation in the movie theater industry in the wake of the acquisition of AMC Entertainment by China's Wanda Group. Variety says smaller movie theater chains will likely look to get out of the business next year rather than face the daunting expenses that come with digital conversion.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: CNN is launching a syndicated Spanish-language programming service that it will distribute to local TV stations around the country. Michael Chiklis on playing the bad guy.

Follow me on Twitter whether you love me or hate me. @JBFlint.

___ (c)2012 Los Angeles Times Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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