By Joe Flint
9:18 AM CDT, July 12, 2013
After the coffee. Before asking for Fridays off in the summer.
The Skinny: Wouldn't it be great if we got Fridays off in July and August? Let's get a bill passed! In the meantime, Friday's headlines include the weekend box-office preview and reviews of "Pacific Rim" and "Grown Ups 2." Also, 20th Century Fox has Broadway dreams.
Daily Dose: Last night, Twitter turned into one long promotional platform for Syfy's "Sharknado, a spoof on disaster movies. But once again, it seems that a ton of tweets does not necessarily translate into huge ratings. "Sharknado" had an audience of just over 1 million people and only a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic in early Nielsen numbers. Bottom line: It doesn't take a lot of people to make a lot of noise on Twitter.
Will "Pacific Rim" drown? This weekend's box-office battle is between a big-budget monster flick ("Pacific Rim") and an Adam Sandler sequel ("Grown Ups 2"). The predictors, who are not always right, expect "Grown Ups 2" to take in $45 million while "Pacific Rim" will struggle to get to $35 million. Given how much "Pacific Rim" cost (almost $200 million), that would be a big disappointment. Both "Grown Ups 2" and "Pacific Rim" may finish behind "Despicable Me 2," which finished first last weekend. Weekend box-office previews from the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter.
Bigger is better? Charter Communications Chief Executive Tom Rutledge and cable mogul John Malone (whose Liberty Media owns a stake in a Charter) are trying to make the case for greater consolidation in the cable industry. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Rutledge said that cable will eventually come down to "two major players." One of the benefits, people pushing consolidation say, is that it will lower programming costs. It may lower the costs for the distributors but that doesn't mean they'll suddenly slash cable bills for subscribers. It just means more profits.
They say the neon lights are bright. 20th Century Fox and Broadway producer Kevin McCollum are partnering on a new venture to turn the studio's movies into musicals. While other major studios already have a presence on Broadway, this is Fox's first real effort. Yes, this means there could be a Broadway version of "Mrs. Doubtfire." More from the New York Times.
From the ground up. For the first time in almost 20 years, a new cable news network is preparing to launch. Al Jazeera America, which will debut next month, has a deep-pocketed country behind it and is spending heavily. But the network may have to overcome skeptics who see its parent channel, Al Jazeera, as having an anti-U.S. and anti-Israel bias. New York magazine takes a look inside the start-up.
What to watch when you're watching more than one. Because it is summer and things are a little slow, we will veer off the hard news for a second and provide you with a USA Today article on what TV shows make for the best binge viewing.
Follow me on Twitter. I'll do all the heavy lifting. @JBFlint.
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