As Vivendi Fiddles, Hollywood Awaits Big Shake-Up (or Shake-Down)

Nothing that excites Hollywood more than the thought of a studio changing hands; the implications spilling down over a generation of executives and deals might be completely incomprehensible from this distance, but they are darn exciting.

• It's a waiting game to see whether Vivendi will exercise its put option on its remaining 20 percent stake in NBC Universal, possibly sending the network studio hybrid into the fabled lands of IPO. While the anticipation mounts, Vivendi's chair said the company would take the next few months to make up its mind. [Variety]

• Oprah's Harpo Productions, Sam Mendes and Focus Features are teaming up to bring Joseph O'Neill's celebrated cricket pot-boiler Netherland to the big screen. [Variety]

Spike Lee and Robert DeNiro announced plans to make a series about Alphabet City for Showtime. Alphaville will be an ensemble drama set in the 1980's. [Hollywood Reporter]

• With a mere two months until its release, pre-sales of tickets for New Moon the second installment of the Twilight saga have been brisk, with many locations reporting showings have already sold out. [Hollywood Reporter]

• What you won't read much about in the trades is the rumors about the trades themselves. Yesterday, Nikki Finke declared Variety was planning to take its website behind a pay wall and the Hollywood Reporter to cease publication entirely. The Wrap attempted to find the truth behind the rumors. It quotes a "high level" Reporter exec reacting "with amusement" to Finke's item, while Variety remained oblique about its online plans. [The Wrap]